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Exclusive: Texas, to sign an ex-Microsoft attorney, and others to aid in Google antitrust probe

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Texas attorney general’s office has hired three consultants for a multi-state probe is the one to the Alphabet, Inc.’ s (GOOGL.(O) to Google, which is a political economist who has worked with a number of the firm’s major competitors and, as a lawyer, who is a Microsoft veteran.

FILE PHOTO: Visitors of the logo on Google’s high-profile, high-tech start-ups and business leaders, the meeting, Tour-Tech,Paris, France-May 16, 2019 at the latest. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

A group of 48 state attorneys general, along with Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, announced this month that they were investigating allegations of violations of the antitrust laws due to the search and advertising giant, Google, is one of the many, many focusing on technology companies.

The three consultants will of Roger Alford of this year, an assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s antitrust division; Eugene Burrus, an external consultant with McKinsey & Co., who was the assistant general counsel for Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.D)); and Cristina Caffarra, an economist at the head of the European competition, the team of consultancy, Charles River Associates.

“We know this is a long-term investigation,” said Alford, who has taught law at the University of Notre Dame in 2012. He told Reuters the meeting, the case began back in August, but declined to comment further.

Texas’ contract with Alford, and Burrus – obtained by Reuters on Wednesday through a public records request, which ran from May 29 through Aug. 31, with a maximum hourly rate of $500, and an optional add-on. Alford said that his contract had been extended through Aug. December 31, 2021.

Caffarra’s contract runs from Sept. 3 Aug. 31, 2021, with a maximum cost of $ 0.

Burrus, Caffarra, and the Texas attorney general’s office did not respond to requests for comment. Google, which has said it is cooperating with investigators, declined to comment.

Burrus spent 15 years at Microsoft before joining the law firm of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, in 2017, for a short period of time. It has represented clients in antitrust and other lawsuits against Google and his company biography says that he developed an anti-trust case that led to the union’s ability to fine Google $2.7 billion for its shopping tool in march of 2017.

A spokesman for Microsoft, which has complained about Google’s competitive strategy, there is no immediate response.

Caffarra, of standing in between the various state attorneys-general this month, during a press conference for the Google search, found you on Twitter, that the announcement of “it’s a huge deal to me.”

Alford said he was also at the event.

Although Caffarra, the contract with Texas calls for her to earn any money, with a slide presentation of August and published on the Charles River web site gives you an overview of Google’s critics, News Corp’s (NWSA.O) -, and competitors of Microsoft, and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN.(O) among its customers, the anti-trust issues.

As part of its investigation, the Texas AG’s office has sought information from an Oracle executive vice president Ken Glueck told Reuters on Wednesday.

Oracle has feuded with Google over a wide variety of business issues, and has been involved in the lobbying group FairSearch, which pushed for the European Union to investigate Google as well.

Oracle has also been heard by the House Judiciary Committee, Glueck said, and has met with the Department of Justice.

The Federal Trade Commission and several member states, led by New York’s attorney-general, have confirmed the anti-trust investigation into Facebook.

The COMMISSION is also looking at Amazon.com the sources have said. The Department of Justice has launched a broad review of the major internet-based companies.

Report by Paresh Dave, San Francisco, and Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing by John Mitchell and Clarence Fernandez

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